The Last Of Us Season 2’s Directors Make HBO’s Part II Adaptation Even More Exciting

The Last of Us season 2 is already a highly anticipated TV event, but HBO’s Part II adaptation is even more exciting thanks to the directing team.

The Last Of Us Season 2’s Directors Make HBO’s Part II Adaptation Even More Exciting

The Last of Us season 2 is already one of the most highly anticipated upcoming TV shows, but the massively talented directing team hired to work on the series’ sophomore season makes HBO’s Last of Us Part II adaptation even more exciting. Season 2 will pick up where season 1 left off, with Joel and Ellie moving to Jackson with a huge lie hanging over them. When they run afoul of Abby, played by series newcomer Kaitlyn Dever, Ellie embarks on a warpath through post-apocalyptic Seattle that nearly destroys her soul.

While season 1 was a more or less straightforward adaptation of the first game, the second game is so narratively complex and so epic in scale that it’ll be a much tougher challenge to translate it to television. Introducing Abby as a despicable villain and then gradually turning her into a sympathetic antihero is a near-impossible high-wire act that the series will struggle to pull off without the benefit of gameplay putting the audience in her shoes. Fortunately, The Last of Us season 2 has recruited a band of great directors who will surely do this story justice.

Co-Creators Craig Mazin & Neil Druckmann Are Back In The Director’s Chair For Season 2

Joel and Ellie looking at Jackson in The Last of Us episode 9

For starters, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, the co-creators and co-showrunners of The Last of Us, are back in the director’s chair for season 2. Druckmann is the leading creative force behind the gaming franchise, so no one understands these characters and their stories better than he does. Mazin is a diehard fan of the games who impressed Druckmann with his knowledge of The Last of Us universe and his comprehension of the deeper themes at play, which is what led to the two teaming up to adapt the franchise for television in the first place.

In season 1, Mazin directed the show’s first episode, “When You’re Lost in the Darkness,” which introduced the Cordyceps pandemic in chilling fashion and established the TV incarnations of all the beloved characters from the game. Druckmann directed episode 2, “Infected,” which kicked off Joel and Ellie’s incredible cross-country journey and started to define their touching surrogate father-daughter relationship. Both Mazin and Druckmann have a clear vision for this live-action adaptation of The Last of Us saga, and they have a great working relationship with both Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. Season 2 is in safe hands with these guys.

The Last of Us season 2 is expected to air on HBO in 2025.

The Director Of Season 1’s Best Episode Is Returning For The Last Of Us Season 2

Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett as Bill and Frank in the strawberry scene from The Last of Us episode 3

Mazin and Druckmann aren’t the only directors from season 1 coming back for season 2. Peter Hoar, who received a much-deserved Emmy nomination for helming season 1, episode 3, “Long, Long Time,” is also coming back to work on season 2. Bill and Frank’s love story was one of season 1’s best surprises, deviating from the source material to chronicle this beautiful unseen romance. Hoar’s return suggests that season 2, like season 1, will break up the main storyline with heartwarming standalone installments. Hoar could be directing an episode based on “The Birthday Gift” or “Finding Strings.”

Loki’s Kate Herron Can Balance The Last Of Us Part II’s Spectacle & Emotion

Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in the Void in Loki season 1

Kate Herron, who directed the entire first season of Marvel Studios’ Loki series (one of the few MCU shows to be widely praised by critics), is on board as a director for The Last of Us season 2. In Loki season 1, Herron managed the tricky balancing act of matching verse-jumping, time-traveling spectacle with emotionally resonant character development. Herron deepened the Loki character with feelings of loneliness and vulnerability, setting up the arc that would conclude beautifully in season 2, without ever losing sight of the superhero action.

This carefully considered balance of spectacle and emotion makes Herron a perfect choice to work on The Last of Us season 2. The game has a bunch of car chases and shootouts and frantic chases involving massive hordes of infected, but it never loses its focus on Ellie’s dark psychological journey. All the violence serves a thematic purpose in chipping away at Ellie’s humanity. Herron has already proven she’ll pull off that balance just as masterfully as the game when she adapts it for television.

Stephen Williams Directed An Instant Classic Episode Of Watchmen

Hooded Justice in black-and-white in Watchmen

Stephen Williams is also working on season 2 and he directed one of Watchmen’s best episodes: episode 6, “This Extraordinary Being.” “This Extraordinary Being” was a stark departure from the series’ established format as it went back in time to fill in the origins of Hooded Justice, tied to the real-life 1921 Tulsa race massacre. This episode used a superhero story to tackle America’s long history of racism in a really powerful way. Williams proved his ability to push poignant social commentary through the lens of a familiar genre framework, which is the whole M.O. of The Last of Us.

Nina Lopez-Corrado Recently Worked On Another HBO Hit

Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) looking tired in Perry Mason.

Nina Lopez-Corrado has been hired to work on The Last of Us season 2, and it won’t be the first time she directed episodes of a hit HBO show. She previously helmed the last two episodes of Perry Mason season 2. Lopez-Corrado also directed episodes of popular genre shows like The FlashAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Once Upon a Time, so she’s well-versed in the genre field. She always lets the human drama shine through the genre conventions, which will serve her well on The Last of Us season 2.

 

Mark Mylod Directed Succession’s Best Episode (& It Tackled The Same Theme As TLOU 2)

Shiv, Roman, and Kendall hugging in the Succession episode "Connor's Wedding"

The second season of The Last of Us is also bringing Mark Mylod onto the directing team. Mylod has worked on Game of ThronesOnce Upon a Time, and both the British and American versions of Shameless. He also showed off his horror chops with the acclaimed satirical thriller The Menu. But Mylod’s most recognizable work – and probably what earned him a directing job on The Last of Us season 2 – is Succession, of which he helmed 16 out of 39 episodes.

Mylod beat Hoar to the directing Emmy with his work on arguably Succession’s greatest episode: season 4, episode 3, “Connor’s Wedding.” This episode deals with the same overarching theme as The Last of Us Part II in that it’s all about the different ways that people process grief. “Connor’s Wedding” revolves around the Roy children’s reactions to Logan’s sudden death, and it captures loss and mourning with an agonizing, almost documentary-like sense of realism. This makes Mylod the perfect director to tackle the complicated eye-for-an-eye revenge story of The Last of Us season 2.

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